Thursday, July 14, 2016


So, after 429 days of high office, John Flasby Lawrance Whittingdale departs as Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport. Some else will have to dot the i's and cross the t's in the BBC's next Royal Charter.

Did he spot the May boot coming ? As a Brexiteer who backed first Bojo and then Gove, he might have suspected something. He had a carefree lunchtime meeting yesterday, on the Commons terrace with Muse leadman Matt Bellamy (new album "Drones"). Today his special advisor Carrie Symonds paid Twitter tribute to "an incredible boss".

Short legacy assessment ? It was Osborne who put the BBC's bum on the bacon slicer, and Whittingdale, though he teased, didn't do much to make the slices thicker. The BBC, remarkably, has the licence fee for another ten years, linked to the CPI. It has lost recipes, which is just a plain daft response to moaning from Murdoch. Will Osborne get as many free lunches now ?  Will Ashley Highfield have leave Johnston Press before the cavalry of free BBC reporters arrive ?

My imaginary Whittinggdale ISA of key media shares, including JP, ITV, Sky, Trinity Mirrow and BT, is down 42% in value, compared with the day Big John arrived at the DCMS.  The FTSE 100 is down just 2% over the same period.

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